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Anticipation: DC United vs Chicago Fire, MLS Week 14 Preview

After a week of disappointing results, the Fire try to right the ship against DC United

MLS: D.C. United at New England Revolution Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

I’m back doing previews! Oh, how I missed you.

The thing I missed most about doing them was the unabashed hope that comes from sitting down and feeling that anticipation of whats to come.

It’s why we can relate to Charlie Brown so much. You just know, that this time, he’ll run up and kick the football. Everything is going to go right this time. Lucy won’t pull the ball away. She'll hold it steady and Charlie Brown’s foot will get it clean, and the ball will fly magisterially away with the perfect end over end action!

I think about that comic a lot, and how relatable it is. This team is Lucy holding the football; we are Charlie Brown. Every matchday, we sit down in our living room, at a bar, or go to the stadium wit the anticipation that today is our day. And more often than not, the team somehow fails to deliver the payoff. There’s always defensive error, a missed sitter or a bad refereeing decision that causes disaster to strike.

But despite all that, we keep coming back for more. We keep looking for this feeling of anticipation because we need to feel it. We need that hope of a better tomorrow to keep us going today. We believe that the Fire will get three points today, because it feels good to think that way. Things are going to go right. They have to.

Today is the day we finally kick that football to the moon.

Chicago Fire all-time MLS record vs D.C. United: 20W-16D-23L, 86 GF / 89 GA, 76 pts out of 177

Chicago Fire away MLS record vs D.C. United: 9W-5D-16L, 40 GF / 56 GA, 3 pts out of 90

Previously on…

W-W-D-L-D Their last five games are two wins, two draws and a loss in MLS, with a 5-2 loss to Real Betis in a post season friendly for good measure.

Suggested Lineup

It’s a bit boring, I must admit. There’s no 3 defender formation and no interesting positional setups. However, this is the lineup sets up the team best to win. Mo Adams should play for Brandt Bronico, and Nemanja Nikolic should stay on the bench for a few more games unless he’s lighting up the net in training. I liked what I saw from Kenneth Kronholm against NYCFC to give him another run out there. Nico Gaitán is listed as questionable, but they should save his return for Atlanta on the weekend.

Keys To The Match

Play Mo Adams: This is absolutely imperative. Against a team with as special a player as Wayne Rooney, you need a defensive midfielder who’s first priority is stopping him. We know Mo can stop him, so if the Fire want any chance of walking away from D.C. with a point, they have play Mo Adams.

High Tempo: This is D.C.’s 7th game of the month. The last three weeks have been Saturday-Wednesday games. This team should be exhausted. The Fire need to take advantage by playing quickly and forcing D.C. to chase the game. The Fire need to press high when they don’t have the ball, and keep possession when they do have it.

Be Efficient: This refrain is getting tiring, but I’m going to keep saying it until they do it on a regular basis. The Fire need to stop wasting scoring opportunities. I get that sometimes you just miss, and that’s okay. But at a certain point, these juicy chances have to be converted into goals, or you’re going to go from treading water in the east to the bottom of the table very quickly.

How To Watch

Television: NA

Streaming: ESPN+

Final Thoughts

This game is going to be highly contested and shouldn’t be boring.... Except that it’s a midweek game in MLS. There will be a lot of boneheaded plays and dumb mistakes that lead to goals. My head prediction is a 2-2 draw. My heart says the Fire will win.

What do you think? Can the Fire overcome their woeful record on the road and get a win? Let us know in the comments!